Gilbert J. (Chip) Wirth Jr. founded Wirth Development Corporation in 1988 alongside his wife, Patty. This family-run firm took off running with major home renovations and custom home building. Later these builders expanded into commercial projects and customizable single-family homes throughout the greater Hampton Roads area of Virginia. Whatever they set their sights on developing, Wirth team members go the extra mile to ensure clients are satisfied. Chip says, “We’re going to do what it takes to get it done.”
Something that sets Wirth Development Corporation apart from competitors is the relationships it has maintained with subcontractors and vendors for more than two decades. “They know we’re loyal to them and we’re not going to be building everything the cheapest that we can.” What this means to clients is that they can count on exceptional service and product consistency, regardless of economic swings.
“One of the things that makes us different from other builders is that I will meet with the customers if they have specific questions or concerns,” says Tim Riley. Request for customizations, an area Wirth specializes in, are met with positive attitudes and creative mindsets skilled in overcoming challenges. “People will go with us for our willingness to adjust for them,” adds Tim.
Clients truly get the total package when they work with Wirth. “We are a very competitively priced builder,” says Chip. “We’re able to give a much nicer product for a much much better price and we’ve been able to do that through some of the hardest times in the economy,” explains Tim. Years of experience in various arenas show clients that builders at Wirth are committed to constructing high-caliber projects on time and on budget. Chip sums it up best, “We offer people a great combination of quality and price.”
Gilbert J. (Chip) Wirth, Jr. is the person that makes things happen behind the scenes of Wirth Development Corporation. His thorough nature ensures budgets are followed and deadlines are met. He developed an understanding of the business-side of home building during his 30-plus years in project management. Such experience allows clients to rest easy knowing their homes will be delivered as promised. A true fan of Hampton Roads and all it has to offer, Chip says, “It’s a great place to raise a family.”
Even as a teenager, Chip could be found on construction sites working as a part of a framing crew or assisting a brick mason. Graduating from Old Dominion University with a degree in mechanical engineering gave him the educational background to compliment his growing practical knowledge base. He expanded his project management experience during his employment at Virginia Power. Hired as a project engineer, this confident self-starter earned a promotion to shift supervisor. “The organizational skills required in project management are the same, whether you’re building a house or a steam turbine.”
What began as a side business in the eighties eventually blossomed into Wirth Development Corporation, with the help of Chip’s dad and father-in-law. This financially-savvy builder says, “My background in project management first attracted me to building homes.” Large-scale renovations and custom homes are what his firm started specializing in, but over the years single-family homes and commercial projects have become standard fare as well. “I handle the financial and the development side,” he adds, “I enjoy the challenge of running a business.”
Chip is passionate about helping those less fortunate, and is involved with several philanthropic ventures. Haiti is now brighter due to his efforts in establishing the Maison Fortuné Orphanage Foundation, which now serves more than 250 residents and employs 55 full-time staff members. This humanitarian is a business advisor to the University of Notre Dame Haiti Program. Here he used his expertise in a supervisory position allowing him to oversee the construction of the first salt plant that produces iodized salt for Haiti. He served as board member at Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School and helped found Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School’s Crusader Athletic Association (CAA). Chip built a new field house locker room building and partnered with Vico Construction Company to build the school’s state-of-the-art turf field.
Chip is a testament to the quality of Wirth’s workmanship, as he lives with his wife in a home he built. Interestingly enough, he still likes working on houses in his free time. He also enjoys fishing and golfing. While work is important, this family man admits that his wife and children mean the world to him.
Tim Riley is a local builder with a spirit of integrity. This graduate of First Colonial High School has dedicated his life to creating homes that are not only beautiful to live in, they’re practical to own. He is construction manager and partner alongside his brother-in-law, Chip Wirth, at family-operated Wirth Development Corporation. Growing up in a family where ingenuity was revered helped mold Tim into a builder known for creating homes today’s buyers appreciate. He brings a myriad of skills to the ever-changing industry of residential construction.
His bachelor’s degree in economics from Radford University provided Tim with the perfect foundation for success. His summers off from high school and college were spent learning about the business from the ground up on construction job sites. He later accepted a position as a superintendent at Wirth Development Corporation. This builder then began learning all of the construction trades. “Having that hands-on experience for that amount of time is more beneficial than coming in with just a scheduling or pricing background,” Tim adds, “I am definitely more well-rounded in that respect.”
Being a part of Wirth Development Corporation for 20 years gives Tim a deep comprehension of how to build clients the properties they want. “I try to give customers as much information as possible and always try to be as straightforward as possible when it comes to the process, the product and the price.” Daily duties now consist of tasks like working with agents, handling contracts, managing budgets, overseeing pricing and working with superintendents. His easygoing personality helps him look at things in a positive light. If potential issues arise, Tim says, “I don’t like to call them problems, I like to call them challenges.”
When Tim is not working on a home for someone else, he can often be found renovating a house of his own- a good sign he’s in the right profession. He has an eye for historical homes and has completed extensive remodels on three of his houses over the years; he’s now moved on to home number four. “The renovation never stops; I’m always working on something.” Stepping away from one passion allows Tim time for another- spending time with his family.
Steve Freeman is an agent who pursues his passion each and every day- helping others get the homes they want. This native of Hampton Roads has lived in many parts of southeast Virginia, and stays up-to-date on the newest developments coming to the area. When questions arise concerning school districts, neighborhoods and choosing the right places to live, Steve eagerly provides the answers.
“I always had an interest in real estate,” says Steve. He bought and sold homes before getting into the industry, so he understands the perspective of the buyer, seller, investor and agent. “The first home I ever bought was a VA foreclosure, and I completely rehabbed the entire house; I know what it takes to build a home and make it your own.” Steve’s clients can gain valuable insight from such familiarity. “As an agent I relate to buyer anxiety during the purchase process,” he continues, “My experience helps guide clients to a stress-free home buying process.”
Steve began selling residential real estate about a decade ago and has never looked back. He worked as a new home sales agent where he learned that personalizing the process makes all the difference. His in-depth grasp of the area came in very handy when dispensing advice on where buyers could settle based on their wants and needs. “Knowing the area where I work while helping people find homes is key,” he says. Being a member of the Virginia Association of Realtors, Hampton Roads Realtors Association and the National Association of Realtors just adds to Steve’s credibility. He was even recognized by the Hampton Roads Realtors Association by earning a spot in their Circle of Excellence.
He’s now glad to be a part of the team at Wirth Development Corporation, and says “I have enjoyed my time here, and look forward to being a part of the team for many years to come!” Buyers and sellers who’ve worked with Steve appreciate his sense of humor and reliable nature. “I enjoy meeting new people and going through this experience with them from start to finish.” Specialties include investment properties and new construction homes. “I’m very familiar with the many aspects of construction,” he adds, “I have experience in dealing with 203k loans and experience in dealing with contractors and estimates.” This confident agent communicates well with others and prides himself in sharing the information he’s learned over the years with those he considers a priority- his clients.
Although Steve immerses himself into real estate, he does have a variety of other interests. He enjoys traveling to places like the Caribbean, national monuments and Las Vegas. Pool and chess are two of his favorite games, and he also likes antique vehicles, muscle cars and convertibles. This second youngest sibling in a family of 13 also appreciates historic homes. Steve resides in Norfolk.
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